Kerala minister claims members come to assembly drunk

State Health Minister PK Sreemathy has landed in a soup after suggesting that many legislators attended the assembly in an inebriated state.

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2010, 15:58 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: State Health Minister PK Sreemathy has landed in a soup after suggesting that many legislators attended the assembly in an inebriated state.

She made this comment Thursday while inaugurating an anti-liquor campaign launched by feeder organisations of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) at Kannur.

She said that many members came drunk in the morning itself, probably because they find it difficult to speak in the assembly without being intoxicated.

Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, however, said that he had not come across any such instance.

Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy, who recently completed 40 years as a legislator, too echoed Achuthanandan, saying he has not witnessed such behaviour.
Addressing the media in Kozhikode Saturday, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Vijayakumar said that he too does not feel this was the case.

"Now maybe I will check closely if such a situation prevails," he said.

Chief whip of the opposition and senior Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that it was Sreemathy`s responsibility to come out with the facts and the issue would be taken up as a breach of privilege of the house.

The Kerala assembly is scheduled to meet Dec 21 and this is expected to be one of the issues to be raised by the opposition.

Five-time veteran opposition legislator PC George said Sreemathy`s statement was insulting.

"Maybe it is the legislators from the treasury benches that she is referring to because she is closer to them than the opposition legislators. We will surely ask her to either name who the legislators are or withdraw her statement," George told a news agency.

IANS